By: Luke Jones, Published on November 2, 2016 08:00 PM, Last Update on November 7, 2016 01:44 PM
The designated driver industry is reacting to changes in regulations, with companies saying it could lead to more drunk drivers on the road in Oshawa. The Ontario city has created a new bylaw that adds a number of restrictions for drivers wanting to work with designated driver companies. Those companies say the law will make it harder to find drivers.
While not in effect yet, the bylaw will take action in 2017 and stipulates that drivers for such companies need to be at least 25 years old, have a “G” driver’s license, and be affiliated with a designated driver broker.
On top of that, drivers will also have to complete a Criminal Information Report with Vulnerable Sector Screening, a driver’s abstract (record), and a city-approved medical clearance letter. There was going to be an insurance policy stipulation, but the government in Oshawa decided to postpone the law until next year.
Speaking to the Toronto Star, Sharon Carswell of designated driving company DD4U said “You better have more police out there because there will be a lot more people on the road who have been drinking,” Carswell said. “That scares me as an Oshawa city resident too.”
The new rules are “scaring the ones that are already doing it,” Carswell added. She also says at least eight companies she knows of are willing to leave Oshawa entirely because of the new laws. Donna Sabo echoed the concerns, saying she will lose the majority of her drivers.
“There are nights drivers who only make $30 or $40 and they’re out there for 12 hours because it’s a slow night. I said to city council ‘Would any of you work for 12 hours for $30 or $40?... And they pay their own gas and then you want to put all these other regulations on them.”
However, city officials say they are only looking to make sure the services are safe to use.
“I think for those companies that are out there that capitalize on this and become registered designated driving services and follow all the rules, the opportunity to fill in those spaces will exist,” Oshawa Mayor John Henry said.